A Florida police sergeant has been fired after allegedly conspiring to cover for a colleague who failed to secure an October crime scene—marking the seventh time the lawman has been terminated for misconduct and criminal behavior, officials said Friday.
The City of Opa-Locka terminated the employment of Sgt. German Bosque this week after an internal review found he “engaged a subordinate officer to create a false police report and failed to secure a firearm at a crime scene” last October, City Manager John Pate told The Daily Beast. After the officer discovered the gun was missing—and replaced it with a phony plastic version—Bosque was caught on a body camera yelling at his subordinate, who appeared to have failed to secure the scene, before coaching him on how to conceal the truth.
“It’s sad because I love policing,” Bosque told the Miami Herald on Wednesday night about his termination. “I don’t like corrupt cops. I hate when I’m portrayed as a dirty cop who slipped through the cracks.”
Andrew Axelrad, a lawyer for the South Florida Police Benevolent Association who is representing Bosque, told The Daily Beast that his client denies any wrongdoing and insists they plan to fight for his reinstatement.
The firing marks the seventh time Bosque, once dubbed “Florida’s Worst Cop,” has been fired during his 28-year career at the Opa-Locka Police Department—with alleged violations ranging from excessive force, stealing from suspects, and misuse of police firearms. He has also been arrested and cleared three times.
The countless misconduct claims have earned Bosque state-wide attention, including a 2011 exposé by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that stated his personnel file was more like “a rap sheet than a résumé.” The bombshell report detailed more than 40 internal affairs complaints against the sergeant—noting that 16 were for excessive force or battery. Most recently, Bosque was found guilty of false imprisonment and witness-tampering in 2014 after he allegedly illegally handcuffed a man trying to file a complaint against him. While he was sentenced to 364 days in jail, he did not serve any time.
In 2016, a Miami-Dade appeals court overturned the witness-tampering conviction after a judge ruled prosecutors failed to turn over police records to Bosque’s defense during his June 2014 trial. A State Attorney’s Office declined to re-try Bosque and an arbitrator eventually awarded his job back in 2018.
Bosque declined The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
Pate said the decision to terminate Bosque again stems from an Oct. 15, 2020, incident in which officers were dispatched to a home after reports of an abandoned firearm. The night before, the Miami-Dade Police Department tried to apprehend an armed felon—and the gun was believed to be a part of that incident.
“Upon arriving on the scene, the primary officer located the firearm and notified dispatch and his supervisor, Sgt. Bosque,” Pate said in a statement. “During the course of the investigation, the officer left the firearm unattended and contacted Sgt. Bosque, who had left the scene.”
When Bosque realized that the gun had been stolen, Pate says he “immediately began coaching the primary officer with a false narrative clearly intended to cover up the truth.”
According to body-camera footage obtained by the Miami Herald, Bosque can be heard going through the cover-up story they planned to tell their colleagues, asking “What do we tell them you went to get in the car?”
“I went to check the call log and see if we could pull a case number,” the officer said, according to the outlet.
“No, something else. Anything else? You thought it was going to rain and you came to get a tarp...You were going to cover it with a tarp or something; you didn’t want it to get wet,” Bosque responded.
Bosque is then shown telling another cop about the incident, stating that the officer called him “five minutes ago” about the gun being “switched out” and replaced with a “fucking pellet gun or something.” “I’ve been here over 25 years, it’s fucking embarrassing of course,” Bosque is heard saying in the video.
The city says that by creating this false narrative, “Bosque failed in his supervisory duties by not effectively addressing the mistake of the primary officer’s failure to secure the firearm when he originally located it” and engaged in “corrupt acts.” Bosque and the officer also didn’t attempt to find the missing gun—thus putting the community and his colleagues in danger.
Axelrad told The Daily Beast he believes his client wasn’t trying to cover up anything, but simply “astounded that something so foolish could have occurred when the only job of the officer assigned was to babysit a gun until the detectives from another agency arrived.”
“Bosque did present potential reasons why the officer may have gone to his car, abandoning his assigned post. In no way was this intended to cover up the incident, but to try to determine if there were an acceptable reason for the officer to have abandoned his post,” Axelrad said Friday, noting that when the officer made it clear he had abandoned his post, all reports about the incident were factual. “There was never a direct or even implied order to do anything but tell the truth. Bosque was just trying to determine what the truth was when he first got to the scene, which is routine in police work.”
The lawyer also said that the officer who was responsible for losing the gun was only given a reprimand while his client has been terminated—a fact he believes is the result of the city not upholding basic due process.
“As to this being his seventh termination, each case needs to be looked at individually. The number is certainly high, but that is only because each case was so weak that a termination could not possibly have been sustained,” Axelrad said. “This does not mean an officer can’t have a stellar career and does something so egregious that they are terminated for a first offense. That certainly happens, and good cops, which are 99 percent do not want to work with bad.”
He added that while an officer like Bosque “can appear to be problematic,” it is the “police administration’s conducting improper investigations” and its “lack of integrity” that drives that conclusion.
“With Bosque, it gets progressively worse, where at this point he would be terminated for the most minor of allegations, even if the underlying minor violation can’t be proven,” Axelrad added.
Pate, however, notes that any “reasonable person would believe that this record of criminal and official misconduct would be sufficient to prevent any individual from ever being a police officer having the power to adversely impact the lives of citizens in our community much as we have seen in the news lately.”
“Unfortunately, the powerful police unions and employment arbitrators who sit in judgment of these cases have put Sgt. Bosque back to work as a police officer every time,” he said, adding that this power denies the city’s ability to punish “to correct and punish a bad cop who tarnishes the badge.”
The city manager insisted that Bosque was given proper due process during the internal investigation and that officials heard his side of the story before making their termination recommendation.
Axelrad, however, believes Bosque will wear his Oka-Locka police uniform again.
“I fully anticipate that an independent arbitrator will reinstate him to police sergeant,” he said.